Ana Alliegro, Associate of Rep. David Rivera, Pleads Guilty in Campaign Finance Case

Names David Rivera as a Co-Conspirator

An associate of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera has pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws, court documents showed.

Ana Alliegro pleaded guilty to charges of illegal campaign contributions, making a false statement and conspiracy to make a false statement and to violate the federal election campaign act, in documents filed Tuesday.

During a federal court hearing Tuesday, Rivera was named as a co-conspirator, reportedly meeting with Alliegro and former candidate Justin Lamar Sternad in April 2012. Rivera has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

"What Miss Alliegro has done is met her responsibility completely and she has always said that if called as a witness, she would not invoke her Fifth Amendment right and she would tell the truth," Alliegro's attorney Richard Klugh said about testifying against Rivera.

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 10. Alliegro, who was arrested in Nicaragua in March, remains in custody, Klugh said.

Alliegro was accused of funneling over $80,000 to the 2012 Democratic primary campaign of Sternad, a previously unknown candidate who pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations.
The case centers on whether the Republican Rivera and Alliegro were using Sternad to weaken Democrat Joe Garcia, who eventually defeated Rivera for South Florida's 26th District U.S. House seat.

Sternad said Tuesday he felt that "they sought me out and hand picked me to use me."

Sternad, who cooperated with investigators, was sentenced to seven months in federal prison. Rivera, who hasn't been charged with any crimes, suspended his latest congressional campaign in July.

Alliegro's trial was scheduled to begin next week. Prosecutors said there was no plea agreement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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